VIENTIANE, Jul 9 – Chinese State Councilor Meng Jianzu met here Friday with Lao President Chummaly Saynhasone, speaking highly of the China-Laos relations and the outstanding contribution the president has made to the development of bilateral ties.
Meng, who is also minister of public security, said since the murder case took place on the Mekong River on Oct. 5 last year, China and the Lao have cooperated closely to promote the establishment of the security cooperation mechanism for law enforcement by China, the Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, which are linked by the river.
The capture of Naw Kham, head of an armed drug gang suspected of masterminding the murder of Chinese sailors on the Mekong River, is a major achievement of the security cooperation which has provided strong protection of the life and property safety of the people along the river.
Two Chinese cargo ships, the “Hua Ping” and “Yu Xing 8″, were attacked by armed people on the Mekong River on Oct. 5, 2011. Thirteen Chinese sailors were killed in the incident, in the ” Golden Triangle” area where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and the Laos meet.
A joint investigation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand found that Naw Kham, core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers planned and conducted the murder of 13 Chinese sailors.
Naw Kham was arrested on April 25, 2012, in an undisclosed location in Laos. Upon his transfer to the Chinese side, he was sent to China via a chartered plane on May 10.
The transfer of the drug lord fully demonstrated the strategic mutual trust between China and Laos, Meng said, adding that the Chinese side is willing to strengthen contact and cooperation with Laos and related countries to carry out the interrogation of Naw Kham.
He said the security situation still remains grave along the Mekong River valley, and China is willing to work with the Laos to enhance coordination and support each other to push forward law enforcement and security cooperation on the river and create a steady and peaceful environment for regional economic development and the livelihood of the people.
Saynhasone, also general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, spoke highly of the achievements Laos and China have made in the fields of law enforcement and security, saying the fruitful results of bilateral cooperation on the Mekong River were based on the high-level political mutual trust between the two countries.
The law enforcement and securities departments of the two countries should strengthen contacts and cooperation in the next step and take effective measures to destroy the criminal gangs that have long threatened regional security, so as to maintain shipping safety along the Mekong River and boost regional prosperity and development.
As for the ninth ASEM summit Laos will sponsor in the next half of this year, Saynhasone expressed gratitude for the support the Chinese side has offered, saying Laos is willing to learn from Chinese experience in maintain security for major international meetings.
While meeting with Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Douangchay Phichith, Meng suggested that to deepen law enforcement and security cooperation between China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, efforts should be made to promote related countries to discuss and sign an agreement on the cooperation along the Mekong River valley, conduct intelligence and information exchanges and embark on joint operations to cope with major problems concerning security.
Efforts should also be made to improve the joint petrol and other law enforcement operations and to further crack down on Naw Kham’s armed drug gang by searching the other members of the criminal gang at large for punishment according to law.
Phichith said he agreed to the suggestions and believed that Meng’s visit would help deepen the law enforcement and security cooperation between the two countries.
Meng also had talks with Lao Minister of Public Security Thongbanh Sengaphone here on Monday. They exchanged views on deepening China-Laos ties and law enforcement and security cooperation before signing a summary of the talks.